Garvey: BioLogos "Edits History" With Keller


(Jordan Mantha) #21

I think that’s what the quote you chopped out was suppose to tell you. The tendency to sin innate in all human beings. Wikipedia give this:

This condition has been characterized in many ways, ranging from something as insignificant as a slight deficiency, or a tendency toward sin yet without collective guilt, referred to as a “sin nature”, to something as drastic as total depravity or automatic guilt of all humans through collective guilt.

I think the idea is that we born into a world in which sin is all around us and within us, and it’s only through God’s grace that we are even able to seek salvation through Christ and become part of a new “society” of those who believe and follow him, we can’t get there on our own.


As someone who learned about venal and moral sins from nuns in 1960s, this never made sense to me. I never considered most of these “sins” to be wrong, evil, immoral, or unethical. Many of the sins that Christians call sins aren’t sins at all by secular moral standards.

(John Harshman) #23

The relevant question here is how our natures are different from what they would have been without the Fall, and how that difference has been transmitted, or inherited, or whatever word you like, across the generations. One may also wonder how God has allowed this transmission to happen, which has condemned many generations.

(Jordan Mantha) #24

Well, I guess that’s a separate issue in a sense. I think the doctrine of original sin is just saying that this tendency toward sin affects all of humanity, it doesn’t point out what is and isn’t sin.


On who’s authority can you or any other Christian say that what a Christian says is sin affects all of humanity?

(Jordan Mantha) #26

Yeah, those are good questions, and I think why Adam & Eve are important to some people.

(Jordan Mantha) #27

My understanding is that it’s just a part of the Christian worldview - an explanation as to why a good God coexists with a fallen humanity, as described in the biblical story. I certainly don’t think it would make much sense to a non-Christian (except perhaps Jewish people since they share the same scripture around the Fall).


I have an issue for claiming human nature is sinful, immoral, unethical. Human nature is something that evolved over a million years with humanity, culture and society.

(John Harshman) #29

There apparently are no answers, though.

(Jordan Mantha) #30

I think that Genealogical Adam & Eve maybe puts a different spin on that, I’m not entirely sure. As I’m reading it, it’s saying that human nature evolving over millions of years and something “different” happening in the Fall (original sin) are not mutually exclusive. It would only be problematic if the sin nature was genetic or biological in nature.


How can a GAE of a few thousands years have any impact on human nature that has been evolving for 2 million years?

(Jordan Mantha) #32

I’m not sure, I just really don’t want to speak out of turn with too many speculations. I’m not a theologian by any stretch of the imagination.

I’ve mostly been content with looking at the world around me, where injustice and pain and grief and selfishness are all so common. I know I want to be a better person than I am. I’m not sure if that’s original sin or not, but for me personally, it’s made sense for why Jesus sacrificed himself on my behalf.

(Jordan Mantha) #33

Original sin isn’t talking about the origins of human nature, but a corruption of it. Christians have disagreed as to the depth/extent of that corruption, but it’s not talking about the origins of what it means to be human. If you look at the biblical account, it says that humanity was created in God’s image before the fall.


I agree with you on this 100%. If you need a faith belief to do this that’s okay. But there are a lot of really good people who don’t need a faith in order to be good, moral, just and tolerant.

(Jordan Mantha) #35

Absolutely, I’ve been in churches much too long to believe that Christians somehow have monopoly on morals. In fact, there are some glaring examples when it was quite the opposite, as my atheist friends like to point out.


I am concerned about the intolerance, injustices, immorality coming FROM the churches now more than ever.

(John Harshman) #37

Really? How is Jesus dying supposed to make you a better person?

(Jordan Mantha) #38

Gosh, doctrine of original sin and atonement theory? Yikes.

There are many different views on what the death of Jesus acommolished (I’m making the assumption it happened here) but they mostly center around the idea of reconciliation with God. Sin causes a break in relationship between God and the world, and specifically people. For the Christian this explains things like injustice, suffering, and evil in the world. So Jesus’ death and resurrection are seen as our path to “at one ment” (atonement) with a just God, restoring the broken relationship.

Here are a few of the most common ways Christians have understood what happened in Jesus’ death:

  • Christus Victor - the power of Satan/Evil is defeated by Jesus’ death and victory over death (resurrection)
  • satisfaction theory - Jesus’s death was as a substitute to satisfy God’s just anger towards sin.
  • example theory - Jesus died to set an example of selfless love and as a validation of his moral teachings (turn the other cheek, etc).

For me personally, I think all of the above are true to varying extents. But more importantly, I find Jesus to be compelling. I think my life is better with him than without him, I think he taught good moral things that I want to incorporate into my own life, and I sense God’s love in the act of sacrifice, laying down his life for mine so that I can have a restored relationship with God.

I’m sure that doesn’t satisfy your question, but it’s the best I can do.

(John Harshman) #39

For me personally, I think all the above are just silly, though the last is a bit less so and the middle one (substitutionary atonement) a lot more so.


I am glad it works for you. Does your morality, ethics, and values change as you live in a changing world? What would change your beliefs, morals, ethics, and values?